Erin Doman on February 8, 2016 0 Comments Marble and granite accents are a popular way to add beauty and functionality to your home, but because of their porous surfaces, some people consider them too hard to keep clean. It’s true that something as simple as water can leave stains if you don’t wipe it up quickly enough, but taking the proper steps to clean your accents will ensure they aren’t any harder to clean than most other materials. Use these cleaning tips and tricks to help you. 1. Clean Spills Right Away As mentioned above, granite and marble will stain quickly and easily, even if the liquid is just water. You can avoid stains by cleaning up any spills immediately. Yes, this means even if you’re super tired or trying to juggle dinner. The 30 extra seconds it takes to clean up a spill will be well worth the beautiful counter that remains. When you do have to clean a spill, be sure to use a blotting motion with your cleaning cloth and not a rubbing or wiping one, just like you would if you were cleaning your carpet or clothing. Rubbing the spot can actually make the stain far worse and spread the substance. 2. Stick to the Basics When your marble countertops or floors aren’t too messy, the cleaning process is very simple. All you need to do is wipe down the counters after cooking dinner or just touch up the floor a bit, and it’s easiest just to stick to the basics when it comes to the cleaning materials that you use. You can do this by creating your own cleaner to use. First, you’ll need to gather some supplies: Warm water Dish liquid Spray bottle Cleaning cloth Soft towel Next, mix the water and soap together in the spray bottle. Use about a tablespoon of the soap. Be sure not to use anything with lemon juice or other acids, as this can cause etching in the marble or granite. Once you create your mixture, you can keep it on hand for any time you need to clean. Spray the area with the mixture, and then wet your cleaning cloth and use it to wipe away the soap. Finally, completely dry the area with your towel. 3. Get Acquainted With Baking Soda If your counters or floors need a more thorough cleaning, dish soap and water probably won’t get the job done. Instead, you can try creating and using a baking soda poultice. You’ll need: Baking Soda Water Spoon Bowl Plastic Wrap Use the spoon to mix the water and baking soda together in a bowl until it resembles sour cream. Spray the area you’d like to clean with water, and then cover it completely with your mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap and then leave the area alone. Over the next 24 hours, the mixture will dry, pulling up the stain as it does. Once it’s dry, you can remove the poultice and wash the area according to the instructions in the first tip. If staining remains, simply repeat the process as needed. 4. Use Flour and Dish Soap If you don’t have baking soda at home, you can mix flour and dish soap together instead. For this cleaning method, you will need one cup of flour and three tablespoons of dish liquid. Be sure your soap doesn’t have bleach, lemon juice or other acids in it. Like with the baking soda and water mixture, you’ll want to create the consistency of sour cream. Once the proper mixture has been made, cover the stain until the mixture is about 1/4-inch thick. Next, cover everything with plastic wrap and leave it to work for the next 24 hours. Wash the mixture off with your basic soap and water and reapply the flour and dish soap poultice if necessary. 5. Use a Sealant The above tips will help you clean your stained marble or granite counters and floors once they are already stained. However, there are actually proactive methods you can try to prevent stains from happening in the first place. The easiest way to do this is by using a sealant on the marble or granite. You can purchase the proper sealant at your local home improvement store. Look for products made specifically for the material in your home, and if you need help, be sure to ask a sales associate. It’s much better to ask questions than to end up with a product that could potentially harm your counters or floors. Remember, even if you’ve sealed your marble or granite before, you will still need to touch it up periodically. You can determine if it’s time for a touch-up by putting a few drops of water on the counter. After a few seconds, the water should form into beads. If it doesn’t, this means your sealant has faded. Touch it up as soon as possible to prevent stains. 6. Always Test a Spot First Before applying any sealant or treatment to your granite or marble accents, be sure to do a test run first. Find an inconspicuous area, such as behind a small appliance or under a piece of furniture, and apply the treatment as directed. If there is no discoloration or etching after the allotted waiting period, you can proceed with treating the entire area. 7. Disinfect With Isopropyl Alcohol If your marble or granite has a solid seal, you shouldn’t need to worry about disinfecting. However, if the seal hasn’t been updated in a while, or if you simply prefer to use a disinfectant anyway, be sure to avoid using anything too harsh. Instead, mix equal parts water and 91 percent isopropyl alcohol. Spray on the surface and leave it for about five minutes, then rinse it off and dry with a clean cloth. 8. Use Coasters and Plates When setting drinks on the counter or chopping food for cooking, be sure to use coasters, cutting boards and other dishes as necessary. This is especially true if your drink or food item is acidic, such as lemons or limes. If you do forget a coaster or chop a tomato on the counter, stop what you’re doing and clean the area as quickly as possible to avoid any etching or staining. 9. Hire a Marble Care Professional If you have already tried all of the above and still feel as if your marble or granite accents aren’t clean enough, you could hire an expert. Stone care professionals will more easily be able to get dirt or stains that fall into any etching and remain out of reach. Granite and marble has a bad rap for being hard to clean, but if you use the cleaning tips provided above, your counters, floors, showers and any other marble or granite in your home will look polished and beautiful for years.